Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 19
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
bond, and force him to forfeit the sheriff's office. Smith struggled with the dilemma for
months, going so far as, on February 23, 1871, to appeal directly to Governor Edmund J.
Davis, for advice. Finally, on June 28, 1871, the ax fell. District Judge Livingston Lindsay
removed Smith from office, citing his inability to control Green, the frequent escapes of
prisoners from the custody of the sheriff's office, and the failure of anyone from the sheriff's
office to pursue John Davis. At the urging of local attorneys, Lindsay appointed former
sheriff James B. Good to temporarily assume the office. Immediately, a petition and a bar-
rage of letters in support of permanently appointing Good arrived in the governor's office.
But one man, former state representative Benjamin Franklin Williams, who was black, urged
Governor Davis to wait until both he and Robert Tendick endorsed a candidate. Shortly,
Davis received a petition requesting that he appoint John Richard Brooks as sheriff. Though
the petition was signed by eighty citizens, both black and white, neither Williams or Tendick
signed it. They had another candidate in mind. Their petition, signed by far fewer citizens,
asked Davis to appoint Charles Schmidt, who was Tendick's father-in-law, to the post.
Already Davis had received correspondence from George S. Ziegler, who had served with
Tendick in the United States Army during the Civil War, which warned him that Tendick
wanted Schmidt to be sheriff, and which pointed out that Schmidt was already serving as
cattle and hide inspector, as internal revenue collector, and as a state policeman. Schmidt,
however, included his resignation from the state police force with the petition, and Davis,
stating that Schmidt had received the strongest support by "both officers of the courts and
citizens," named him the new sheriff on July 13, 1871. Smith, as a consolation, was handed
Schmidt's old post as cattle and hide inspector, and was named cotton weigher as well.23
23 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 2634: William Beethe, et al.
v. William M. Smith, Minute Book E, p. 73; J. D. Thomas to Edmund J. Davis, January 31, 1871, William
M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis, February 23, 1871, James B. Good to C. K. Hall, June 29, 1871, William M.
Smith to Edmund J. Davis, June 29, 1871, Petition to Edmund J. Davis to Appoint James B. Good
Sheriff, June 30, 1871, William J. Darden to William Alexander, June 30, 1871, Edward M. Glenn to
Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871, Benjamin F Williams to Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871, Benjamin F.
Williams to James P. Newcomb, July 2, 1871, Livingston Lindsay to Edmund J. Davis, July 2, 1871,
Petition to Edmund J. Davis to Appoint John R. Brooks Sheriff, July 8, 1871, Andrew J. Vaughan to
Edmund J. Davis, July 9, 1871, George S. Ziegler to Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Edward Wilson to
Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Robert P. Tendick to Edmund J. Davis, July 10, 1871, Petition to
Edmund J. Davis to Appoint Charles Schmidt Sheriff, July 15, 1871, Charles Schmidt to Edmund J.
Davis, July 1871, all in Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library,
Austin; Colorado County Election Returns, Register of Elected and Appointed State and County
Officials, 1870-1875, both in Secretary of State Records (RG 307), Archives Division, Texas State
Library, Austin. Smith asked for the position of cattle and hide inspector in August, but did not
receive either of his new appointments until December 9 (see William M. Smith to Edmund J. Davis,
August 8, 1871, Edmund J. Davis Records (RG 301), Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin).
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/19/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.